Friday, July 31, 2009 

Why do I try, why do I try, why do I try, why do I even try?

Feel good hits of the 31st of July, 2009:

The Sound - Acceleration Group
Frightened Rabbit - The Modern Leper
Divisible - The Cutting Room
Icehouse - Electric Blue
Kate Bush - Cloudbusting
The Pixies - The Holiday Song
Daft Punk - Emotion
The Research - Ba Ba Ba
Cousteau - (Damn These) Hungry Times
Monkey Swallows the Universe - 22

(I do these every so often, but I feel I should mention a word about methodology: all these posts consist of is the last ten songs to get stuck in my head. Every time it happens I write it down and once I've got ten, poof! A post. Nothing more exciting or purposive than that, although certainly they might give some indication as to my inner life, especially when I've got enough material for more than one of these in relatively quick succession.)


Find summer homes fill summer throats

So I haven't been terribly active on this blog recently, but that's just because I'm struggling valiantly to get caught up on all my writing assignments. In the meantime, here's the review of the astounding Stars Like Fleas attic show I went to in June.

Saturday, July 25, 2009 

Random universe

My second Resident Advisor review is up today, on Kate Simko's fine and surprisingly peaceful soundtrack for The Atom Smashers.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 

Well done, then

So I know the Mercury Music Prize is... kind of pointless, really, but it's still nice to see some good albums in this year's shortlist - and most importantly, to see that the excellent Twice Born Men by the great Sweet Billy Pilgrim is on it. It's almost certainly not going to win, but given how criminally overlooked Sweet Billy Pilgrim is, at least it should give them some exposure. And I need to get off my ass and write something about Twice Born Men sometime soon.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009 

Sentence of the day

"Of course, there’s one thing that’s been standing in the way of an Atlas Shrugged film all these years: Its major themes are both reactionary and really fucking, like, insultingly stupid."

(from here)

Monday, July 20, 2009 


This astonishing, fantastic video raises an important question: how is it that I've never actually heard all of Second Edition? I've loved these two songs for years, and what else I've heard of PiL is at the very worst engaging, so how have they fallen into my blind spot? I'm not sure why it never crossed my mind before that "Poptones" and "Careering" are, duh, from the same record, or that said record is at least potentially the cold flipside to one of my favourite records of all time, the Fall's immortal Hex Enduction Hour. Basically, I know there are too many bands out there to check them all out, but what the hell have I been thinking?


Too obvious to mention

A little while back I posted on my Facebook account that I'd just written 1200 words on a Constantines EP. I honestly expected it'd be chopped down rather severely - but one of the wonder of writing for the internet is that it hasn't been. Hopefully it's worth the time it takes to read it. And in any case, if you like the Constantines and don't own Kensington Heights yet, I would recommend picking it up both on its own merits and to get this EP - and that is not something I would have expected to say.

Monday, July 13, 2009 

Silver and blue and blue and denim and silver and red and silver and red and blue and yellow and white and blue and blue and red and grey and red and and blue and yellow and black and black and red and green and white and blue (and blue) and grey and blue and white and yellow and black and white and blue and red and white and red and grey (and blue) and grey and red and red and yellow and green and grey and blue and blue and grey and yellow (and white) and silver and black and green and (and white) red and black and silver and white and grey and blue (and blue) and grey and silver and white and white (and brown) and red and curry and green and grey and green and white and black and silver and white and green and red and red and black and red and white and grey and and silver and green and grey and black red and blue (and blue) and blue and blue

Feel good hits of the 13th of July, 2008:

Underworld - Juanita/Kiteless/To Dream of Love
Camera Obscura - If Looks Could Kill
New Order - Weirdo
The Fall - Just Step S'ways
Annie - Anthonio
Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
Pavement - Zurich Is Stained
Cave In - The World Is in Your Way
The Verve - Come On
Plumtree - Thrilled to Be Here

Sunday, July 12, 2009 


Last night some friends and I manned up and faced the rain. Those chips are indeed spicy as hell - after one, if you just wait and see what happens, your mouth and throat will burn for a little while (unless, like a couple of my friends, you've got a lot of practice eating spicy foods). Having a handful at once was right up there with the spiciest food I've ever eaten anywhere.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 

Death shall have no dominion

I know I keep saying this, but The AV Club really is the best arts-and-culture website out there right now. There are all sorts of columns I thoroughly enjoy, but it gave me a special thrill to see Nathan Rabin's great "My Year of Flops" column (which has now gone on longer than a year, and thankfully seems to be permanent) takes on Steven Soderbergh's great, great Solaris. Rabin, as he often does, gets it exactly right here.


New forms, new forms

My review of the drastically altered re-release of Roni Size & Reprazent's New Forms is up today at PopMatters.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009 

"What needs to be done"

Sarah Palin is an idiot, or at least a fool, and the available evidence suggests that she's a bad person as well. I know and like many Americans, and I have a basic level of faith that someone like her simply will not get elected President, or Vice President, or what have you. Which is why it made my blood run cold to see her saying, "I don't need a title to be the one to usher in what it is that needs to be done in our state or our country."

On the one hand, the delusion and the hubris is bitterly amusing (Palin isn't remotely qualified or capable enough to figure out what needs to be done, let alone to do it); one the other, the Western world tends to be fairly kind to people with no talents or virtues other than ambition, ruthlessness, a firm grasp of PR and a shaky one on reality. God help me, but should she be hit by a bus tomorrow I think I'd breathe a sigh of relief.

Monday, July 06, 2009 

"The consensus doesn't explain our lives. But - what does?"

"By the time we're finished you're all going to be practicing magicians."

In which a drunk Grant Morrison (who is going to be coming up on drugs roughly half an hour in) explains himself. I'm pleased to see that (whether Morrison knows it or not), a lot of the more sensible things he says about metaphysics are drawn from Spinoza (similarly, I get the impression he's read R.D. Laing's The Divided Self). And the stuff he says about the individual and duality, about the cops and John Wayne Gacy, about the dark side of human nature is great. Mad, beautiful, dangerous stuff - he might be my favourite writer, really.

Friday, July 03, 2009 

quiet, remorse, everything, peace

I haven't said much of anything about Michael Jackson mostly because I don't have much of anything to say; I liked some of his songs, I disapproved of some of his actions. There wasn't as much at stake* for me with him as there was with many friends of mine, and since so many people have written so movingly and eloquently about him in various ways there didn't seem much point adding in my own "well, you know, I quite like "Billie Jean" and a few others." And there still isn't. But I will say however you felt about the man and his music, you owe it to yourself to check out this response from Sean at Said the Gramophone. Michael really has entered the realm now where he's a symbol, a figure, a thing of art, and if half of that art is as good as this we should be content with that.

*(that there still was something at stake is down entirely to how much Jackson did create the world of modern pop, which along with a frequently astounding body of musical work is his real legacy)

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About me

Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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imathers at gmail dot com

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